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March 2016

PACER e-news: Resources and information for children with disabilities and their families

DON'T MISS THE EXCITING EVENING AT PACER'S ANNUAL BENEFIT FEATURING IDINA MENZEL!

Idina Menzel is the voice behind Elsa in Disney’s global box office smash Frozen, and the powerful multiplatinum Oscar-winning hit “Let it Go.” The Tony Award-winning star of Wicked, Rent, Glee, and If/Then will headline Saturday, April 30, 2016 at PACER’s 34th Annual Benefit, presented by Starkey Hearing Technologies at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Visit PACER.org/benefit or call (952) 838-9000 to reserve tickets, donate to the silent auction, or learn about corporate sponsorship opportunities.

PACER’S UNITY AWARDS: NOMINATE A DESERVING INDIVIDUAL WHO IS GOING ABOVE AND BEYOND TO PREVENT BULLYING

Do you know someone who has gone above and beyond to prevent bullying? Nominate a deserving individual for the Unity Awards, which were created to honor and celebrate students and others who are leaders in helping to make communities, schools, and online kinder, more accepting places. The Unity Awards will be presented by the Faces of Change, the Youth Advisory Board of PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, on Wednesday, May 25 in Bloomington, Minn. The nomination deadline is April 15. Learn more at PACER.org/bullying.

REGISTER NOW FOR PACER’S HOUSING RESOURCE & INFORMATION FAIR APRIL 9

It’s important for parents of teens and young adults with disabilities to explore their options for independent living and housing services and supports during their high school and transition age years. Learn more at the Housing Resource and Information Fair on Saturday, April 9 from 9 a.m. to noon at PACER Center. Families can hear a keynote speaker, meet service providers, and discuss housing options, services, and supports. State and county representatives, and resource and referral organizations will be available to answer questions. E-mail [email protected] for more information or call (952) 838-9000. Register now.

HISTORIC 2-YEAR SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY FOR 2016 MINNESOTA HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES

 The Occupational Grant Pilot Program funded by the legislature through Minnesota’s Office of Higher Education provides grants to students enrolling in qualified one- or two-year programs in a high demand field at a Minnesota State College and University in the fall of 2016.  This is a historic, first time opportunity. To be eligible, students must receive their high school diploma or GED in the 2015-2016 year, and be from families earning no more than $90,000 a year. The grant can be used to cover tuition and general fees after other federal and state grants have been applied. There is no separate grant application form; students apply simply by submitting a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and an application to an eligible program. Applicants are ranked by submission date, so students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Individuals receiving grants will be notified this summer. Read more>>>

EX.I.T.E. CAMP: APPLY BY MAY 2 FOR EX.I.T.E CAMP FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL GIRLS

Register now for the 14th Annual Exploring Interests in Technology and Engineering (EX.I.T.E) Camp for middle school girls with disabilities. Participants do experiments, make new friends, and discover the excitement of science, technology, engineering, art and design, and math (STEAM). The free five-day camp in August enables girls to learn hands-on in a supportive environment, and boost their skills and confidence by working with industry professionals. The registration deadline is May 2 and space is limited. Visit PACER.org/stc for more information and application forms. You can also apply online or call PACER’s Simon Technology Center at (952) 838-9000.

OPEN EBOOKS OFFERS IN-NEED FAMILIES FREE ACCESS TO DIGITAL BOOKS

Open eBooks is an app containing thousands of popular and award-winning titles that are free for children from in-need households. Children from in-need families can access and read these eBooks, which include some of the most popular works of the present and past, using the Open eBooks app. Open eBooks is a program of ConnectED, President Obama’s signature initiative focused on transforming teaching and learning through digital connectivity and content. Learn more about Open eBooks at openebooks.net.

FEDERAL APPLICATION FOR FEDERAL STUDENT AID (FAFSA) APPLICATIONS DUE JUNE 30

Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) applications are due June 30 for students planning to enroll in a fall 2016 college or technical program. Students requiring assistance with their application can receive free help from Minnesota College Goal. Visit minnesotacollegegoal.org to locate the nearest workshop.

PACER BOARD MEMBER DON MCNEIL RECEIVES AWARD OF EXCELLENCE

On March 10, Don McNeil was awarded the Hennepin County Bar Association Award of Excellence for a Private Attorney for his work for children with disabilities and students who are bullied. Don is a partner at Heley, Duncan & Melander and has devoted countless hours to volunteering with PACER Center. He has served as the organization’s board president and is currently a member of the board of directors. He has a leadership role in PACER’s Annual Benefit and serves as a member of the corporate sponsor committee. Congratulations, Don!

PRESIDENT OBAMA’S 2017 BUDGET EXPANDS OPPORTUNITIES FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

Last year marked the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Americans with disabilities have made great progress, but still face challenges such as high unemployment rates. President Obama’s recently released budget for fiscal year 2017 includes education, job training and employment programs that will expand opportunities for people with disabilities and help make sure all Americans have a fair shot at economic security. Learn more.

RESOURCES

Special Education Record Keeping Folders
Accurate record keeping is important for everyone involved in special education. Parents should save important records in an organized way to use for special education planning, and to keep track of their child’s educational progress. Special Education Record Keeping Folders help parents keep important papers organized and offer helpful tips on working with the child’s school. Folders are $10 each (discounts for larger quantities), and are available in English, Somali, Hmong, and Spanish. Call (952) 838-9000 or (800) 537-2237 and order item PHP-a5.

PACER WORKSHOPS

Understanding ADHD in Children and Young Adults: What you can do
Dr. Read Sulik, a well-known child and adolescent psychologist, describes Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) as the inability of a child to regulate him- or herself. “Children with ADHD can’t regulate their attention, their behavior, or their emotions very well,” he said. Dr. Sulik will provide the latest information on ADHD to help parents of children with the disorder and the professionals who work with them to understand the disorder better and what they can do to help. Advance registration is required. Register online at PACER.org/workshops or call (952) 838-9000.
Thursday, April 21, 2016 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at PACER Center, 8161 Normandale Blvd., in Bloomington, Minn.

GREAT OPPORTUNITIES

Support PACER by joining Survey Monkey Contribute
Showing your support for PACER is as easy as taking the occasional survey. More than 27,000 people have signed up with SurveyMonkey Contribute in support of PACER. Participants receive periodic e-mail surveys on a variety of subjects. The web-based questionnaires are quick, easy, and confidential, and SurveyMonkey makes a donation to PACER for each survey completed. Thank you for participating! Sign up today

CONTACT PACER FOR ASSISTANCE AND INFORMATION

PACER Center is a national nonprofit organization that provides services to families of children and young adults with any disability, as well as resources to prevent bullying through PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. For assistance and information, please contact us via e-mail at [email protected] or call (952) 838-9000. Learn more

CONNECT WITH PACER ON FACEBOOK, TWITTER AND INSTAGRAM

Stay up-to-date with all of the latest PACER news and events through social media. ‘Like’ PACER on Facebook and, ‘follow’ us on Twitter (@PACERCenter) and Instagram to receive ongoing updates.

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PACER Center: Champions for Children with Disabilities
PACER Center, Inc. 8161 Normandale Boulevard Minneapolis, MN 55437-1044
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Visit PACER's other sites: Teens Against Bullying | Kids Against Bullying | FAST Family Support | FAPE | MN SEACs

Translated content: Hmoob/Hmong | Español | Soomaaliga/Somali

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